Mar
11

Onboarding – Generating Energy, From Day One

by  Stacy Feiner  |  Books
Onboarding -Generating Energy, From Day One

The first few days of an employee’s life at a business represent a rare, untapped window of time where the new hire enters a fresh environment shining, inspired and ready to make a difference. The organization gets a shot in the arm; an instant infusion of talent and energy.

Properly channeled and leveraged, this new-hire vitality and vigor can permeate the culture and positively impact people at all levels of your organization. This period of welcome and orientation is an incredible opportunity to revive your team.

It’s a one-time chance to roll out the red carpet for that new employee—to show your team that this promising, thoughtfully selected person matters. It should remind others of their first day, and if it was memorable (as it should be), then everyone will have something to share that revives them.

The process of orienting a new hire is formally called onboarding. When done effectively, 0nboarding will:

  • Set the tone for the new employee’s role
  • Efficiently orient the person to the job and culture
  • Cement the existing team
  • Improve the overall productivity of your operations

Many organizations implement a watered-down version of onboarding that runs the risk of leaving their new blood feeling jilted at the altar. This is it? This is what I’ve been waiting for? Does anyone know I was hired? Clearly, this is not the impression any leader wants a new hire to gather on the first days, or any day for that matter.

Effective onboarding accelerates productivity and generates energy. An employee hits the ground running the first day because he or she connected with the company’s mindset at the first interview. The training/onboarding process began during Recruiting. Their first day was actually that initial interview, as they got to know your company better and began to learn about its culture.

In fact, onboarding is a continuation—albeit a more formal start—of the orientation that began when you opened the door to first speak with the candidate. Doesn’t this mindset change the talent acquisition focus completely? Doesn’t it underscore the value of a rigorous recruiting and selection process leading up to onboarding? And, doesn’t it make sense that doing so changes the onboarding experience completely, because candidates are in the game before they ever start the job?

This is an excerpt from “Talent Mindset”, available on Amazon, and what you just read is merely the tip of the iceberg.

I would love for you to visit me at stacyfeiner.com or connect on Twitter via @stacyfeiner so that we can continue this conversation.

Have you had an effective onboarding experience? Tell me about it…

About The Author

Articles By stacy-feiner
For more than 15 years, Dr. Stacy Feiner has been helping business leaders take deliberate steps to improve their performance and advance their companies. Stacy takes business owners, executives, and stakeholder teams through critical phases of leadership and organizational transitions with a framework that make change possible  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

John Smith  |  11 Mar 2015  |  Reply

Hi, Stacy – nice post.

My most interesting experience with new staff orientation was not an overwhelming success, but it was interesting.

I was responsible for new employee orientation at a non-profit for several years, which included two somewhat separate tracks: 1) New corporate headquarters staff, which included support positions, and 2) New management team members, which included regional coordinators, administrators, Directors (Nursing, Maintenance, assorted others depending on size of unit), service coordinators, and senior staff.

The general orientation for both groups was usually 1-2 days, while the management staff continued for almost an entire week. Since the second group traveled to our corporate HQ, we included a fair amount of individual sessions within the person’s reporting area, as well as the general sessions which all new staff participated in.

Because we did these quarterly or at best monthly, employees often arrived for orientation with one of two profiles: Brand new first-day-on-the-job OR been working in their department or at their facility for some time (up to several months)

Two observations:
We always started with everyone in the same room hearing the same welcome from the same person: our president. This was one of our better activities, since the president was comfortable engaging with each person and helping them understand how they fit into the larger corporate picture, as well as fielding sometimes challenging questions based on the reality of a new employee’s experiences in the workplace which differed from their original expectations.

Second observation is that I am guessing that technology has resolved many of the issues we struggled with due to the timing of this sometimes late introduction to the larger organization., as well as eliminating the annoying distraction of new hire paperwork required by some departments (looking at you, HR).

Unfortunately, most of my corporate experiences with new employee orientation have been negative – one organization took up an entire day every two weeks with completion of forms and watching several videos, but little other interaction with new employees.

Small companies with which I am familiar mostly do not have a formal new employee orientation, unless you count the 30 minute tour of the office/store/cubicle farm and perfunctory introductions to whoever is working close by at the moment.

Maybe that’s why I liked your blog post – you talk about how orientation can be a valuable link in the Talent Management chain.

John

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